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Future Tech: 

Orizuru: The drone that flies like a bird

There’s no shortage of cool drones around, but this one is unlike any we’ve seen before – it flaps its wings and flies like a bird. Fittingly, it’s made to look like a crane. It’s so nimble it can take off from your hand, as you can see in the demo video.

It’s called Orizuru, and it’s made by Japanese firm ROHM Semiconductor. The demo took place at the CEATEC Expo in Japan.

Not only does it look much more lifelike while flying, it’s also 90 per cent more power efficient than other drones. That’s thanks to its Lazurite Fly microcomputer designed by Lapis Semiconductor Co. (which is part of ROHM), and its unique method of getting airborne. That means it can stay in the air for longer than other drones, which typically only last about 20-30 minutes.

You can remote control the drone, making it your very own bird of prey. It has a carbon fibre tube frame around which is draped 3D-printed nylon filament. Its wings are powered by ultralight motors.

Incredibly, it weighs just 31g – that’s about the same as a pocket-sized bag of nuts. Obviously there are no cameras or any other extras included in order to keep the weight down. We also don’t fancy its chances in a head-on collision with a Greyhound.

ROHM specialises in making semiconductors, integrated circuits and other components that live inside in our gadgets. Orizuru might seem like a display of its engineering nous and micro computing power, but the firm may actually put it into production – it plans to work on the design, with the aim being that people can assemble it themselves.

So if the skies are suddenly full of robotic-looking cranes flying around, you’ll know why.

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